The Open Innovation Research Cluster

for Non-Ferrous Metals at RWTH Aachen University

Project Overview

Current Projects

Ultra High Strength Aluminium Alloys for the Automotive Large-Scale Production

Solutions for structural vehicle components from ultra high-strength aluminium alloys, which can provide an alternative for ultra high-strength (hot formed) boron steels, will be worked out in this project. Thereby the optimisation of the process chain “from sheet to component” is in the center with the target of a production suitable for large-scale. Further project focuses will be new / adapted joining concepts as well as new simulation tools for the process (forming simulation) and component simulation (crash). more...

“INTERaCT” - Intergranular Corrosion Testing of 6xxxAluminum Alloys

The present project aims on the methodical investigation of the suitability of existing testing methods for determining the IGC susceptibility of 6xxx aluminum alloys. The investigations focus on the comparison of accelerated corrosion experiments and in-service corrosion tests. Finally, the results of this project will provide all necessary requirements in order to design a new, robust, reliable and realistic IGC testing method. more...

Prediction of Final Properties

Detailed knowledge of the heat treatment process of aluminum castings has the potential to lower the energy consumption during heat treatment, take full advantage of the material’s potential and increase the competitiveness of the casting industry in general. more...

Design and Process Development of hollow structural HPDC Components (high Pressure Die Cast)

  • Substitution of welded steel sheet components e.g. torque box
  • Adopt casting to Joining Technology/  Develop appropriate joining technology 
  • Casting process development (HPDC) of hollow structural component using lost cores
  • Design of weight reduced Al-component (casting) more...

Tailor rolling of High Strength Aluminium Alloys

The usage of Aluminum alloys has significantly increased in recent years leading to a substantial weight reduction. This weight reduction trend has to be maintained to additional light weighting technologies. Tailor rolled Blanks (TRB) offer an interesting solution through an adequate thickness distribution through the blank allowing for an optimized usage of the weight where it is requested. This technology is however restricted right now to steels. The industrial feasibility of TRB with high strength Aluminum alloys still needs to be demonstrated. In particular the solution heat treatment phase which is necessary in order to guarantee final properties needs to be demonstrated. more...

Aluminum Casting for High Volume Production of Structural Nodes in BIW

Decreasing the body in white’s (BIW) weight is considered as one of the solutions, which might have a great impact on the emissions’ reduction potential.

This weight reduction can be achieved by the integration of lightweight materials, such as Aluminum, in the vehicle body structures, in the form of castings. more...

Project 19

Simulation of microstructure and yield stress during natural and artificial aging of Al-Mg-Si automotive sheet

Project 21

Online Topography Measurement of Aluminium during Cold-Rolling

Further processing of cold-rolled metal sheets requires a homogeneous 3D distribution of the roughness parameters mostly. The only possibility to react on the rolled surface changes immediately, for instance by strip tension, is an online roughness measurement. But the roughness measurement is a challenge. This is primary based on the non isotropically reflecting aluminium surface and the oscillating strip in an lubricant mist environment.

Cast Part Feasibility Assessment Method

 In-service performance of cast parts not only depends on part design, but also on manufacturing effects like part orientation in mold, gating & feeder system (size, location) and process parameters (filling rates, melt & die temperatures). Casting process restrictions and requirements are of equal importance as attribute requirements (strength, durability, NVH, crash).

Conventional component optimization relies on expert skills and expert guided analysis loops. MDO tools as well as design engineers require fully automated tools & expert systems to evaluate the feasibility and quality of cast parts upfront, quantitatively and efficiently.

The objective is to develop an automatic tool set to run casting simulations, to quantify existing casting process know-how, to make it available for automatic evaluation schemes and to provide validation example parts. more...